- Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne
Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne, also known as Jean Nicolas (
April 23, 1756– June 3, 1819) was a French personality of the Revolutionary period. Though not one of the most well known figures of the French Revolution, Jacques Nicolas Billaud Varenne was an instrumental figure of the period known as The Terror. As Varenne climbed his way up the ladder of power during the period of The Terror, he was recognized for his courageousness and dedication to the cause. He was recognized and worked with French Revolution figures Georges Danton and Maximilien Robespierre, and is often considered one of the key architects of the period known as The Terror. “No, we will not step backward, our zeal will only be smothered in the tomb; either the Revolution will triumph or we will all die.” [Schama, Simon. Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution (New York: Vintage Books, 1989), 809, 840.] Those who were to lead a period of such social turbulence as The Terror had to exhibit an exorbitant amount of fervor to overturn society in the pursuit of what was thought to be a better future, and Varenne--an extreme Montagnard--was such a person.
Varenne was born in
La Rochelleas the son of a lawyerto the " parlement" of Paris. Since both his grandfather and father were lawyers, and he was the first son in his direct family, Varenne was guaranteed a solid education and the same profession. Varenne was educated at the College of Oratorians of Niort and took Philosophy at La Rochelle. His education at Niort was particularly important in shaping his character because its methods of teaching were uncommon to the revolution. At Niort, modernity and tolerance were emphasized, as opposed to overbearing and possibly obstructive religious instruction present in most other schools of the time. Varenne was also sent to Oratory school at Juilly, where he later became a professor when he felt dissatisfied with practicing law. Here he remained for a short while, until his writing of a comédie strained his relationship with those who ran the school and he was obliged to leave [Levitine, George. Culture and Revolution: Cultural Rammifications of the French Revolution (College Park, Maryland: Department of Art History, 1989), 70-79.] in 1785, the Oratorian college where he was Hall prefect of studies. He then went to Paris, married and bought a position as lawyer in the "parlement". In early 1789 he published at Amsterdama three-volume work on the "Despotisme des ministres de la France", and he adopted with enthusiasm the principles of the Revolution.
Jacobin Club, Billaud-Varenne became, from 1790, one of the most violent anti-Royalist orators, closely linked to Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois. After the flight to Varennesof King Louis XVI, he published a pamphlet, "L'Aciphocratie", in which he demanded the establishment of a federal republic.
July 1, in another speech at the Jacobin Club, he spoke of a republic, arousing the derision of partisans of the constitutional monarchy> But when he repeated his demand for a republic a fortnight later, the speech was printed and sent to the Jacobin branch societies throughout France.
On the night of
August 10, 1792(during the attack on the Tuileries Palace) he was elected one of the "deputy-commissioners" of the sections who shortly afterwards became the general council of the Paris Commune. He was accused of having been an accomplice in the September Massacresin the Abbaye prison.
Projects in the Convention
Maximilien Robespierre, Georges Danton, and Collot d'Herbois, a deputy of Paris to the National Convention, he spoke in favour of the immediate abolition of the Bourbon monarchy, and the next day demanded that all acts be dated from the "Year I of the French Republic" (a measure adopted a little over a year later in the form of the French Revolutionary Calendar).
At the trial of Louis XVI he added new charges to the accusation, proposed to refuse counsel to the king, and voted for death "within 24 hours". On
June 2, 1793, in the context of Jean-Paul Marat's anti- Girondistinstigations, he proposed a decree of accusation against the Girondists; a week later, at the Jacobin Club, he outlined a programme which the Convention was to fulfil soon after: the expulsion of foreigners, the establishment of a taxon the rich, the deprivation of the rights of citizenship of all "anti-social" men, the creation of a French Revolutionary Army, the monitoring of all officers and "ci-devant" nobles (i.e.: those of aristocratic families who no longer held status after the abolition of feudalism), and the death penaltyfor unsuccessful generals fighting in the French Revolutionary Wars.
Mission and Reign of Terror
July 15he made a violent speech in the Convention in accusation of the Girondists. Sent in August as representative on mission to the "départements" of the Nord and of Pas-de-Calais, he showed himself inexorable to all suspects.
On his return, Billaud-Varenne was included to the
Reign of Terror's Committee of Public Safety, which had decreed the mass arrest of all suspects and the establishment of a revolutionary army, caused the extraordinary criminal tribunal to be named officially " Revolutionary Tribunal" (on October 29, 1793), demanded the execution of Marie Antoinette, and then attacked Jacques René Hébertand Danton. Meanwhile, he published "Les Éléments du républicanisme", in which he demanded a division of property among the citizens.
Thermidor and exile
Becoming concerned about his own safety, he turned against Robespierre, whom he attacked on 8 Thermidor as a "moderate" and a Dantonist. Surprised by the
Thermidorian Reaction, he denounced its partisans to the Jacobin Club. He was then attacked himself in the Convention for his ruthlessness, and a commission was appointed to examine his conduct and that of some other members of the former Committee of Public Safety.
Billaud-Varenne was arrested, and as a result of the Jacobin-led insurrection of 12 Germinal of the Year III (
April 1, 1795), the Convention decreed his immediate deportation to French Guiana, along with Collot d'Herbois and Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac. After Napoleon Bonaparte's 18 Brumaire coup, he refused the pardonoffered by the French Consulate. In 1816 he left Guiana, went to New York Cityfor a few months, and finally took refuge in Port-au-Prince( Haiti), where he died of dysentery.
* PDFlink|1= [http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/CadresFenetre?O=NUMM-47948&M=notice&Y=Image "Despotisme des ministres de France, combattu par les droits de la Nation, par les loix fondamentales, par les ordonnances…"] ("Despotism of the ministers of France, combatted by the rights of the Nation, by the fundamental laws, by the ordinances…"), Paris, 1789.
* "Mémoires écrits au Port-au-Prince en 1818, contenant la relation de ses voyages et aventures dans le Mexique, depuis 1815 jusqu'en 1817". ("Memoirs written in Port-au-Prince in 1818, containing the relation of his voyages and adventures in
Mexico, from 1815 to 1817"), Paris, 1821 [probably forgeries] .
* " _fr. Billaud Varenne membre du comité de salut public : Mémoires inédits et Correspondance. Accompagnés de notices biographiques sur Billaud Varenne et Collot d'Herbois" ("Billaud Varenne, member of the Committee of Public Safety: Unpublished memoirs and correspondence. Accompanied by biographical notes on Billaud Varenne and Collot d'Herbois"), Paris, Librairie de la Nouvelle Revue, 1893 (edited by Alfred Begis).
*1911 "In turn, it gives the following references:"
**Billaud-Varenne's autobiographical sketch of his youth, "Tableau du prémier age", composed in 1786 - published in 1888 in the review "La Révolution française".
François Victor Alphonse Aulard, "Les Orateurs de la législative et de la convention" (2nd ed., 1906).
*Arthur Conte, "Billaud Varenne : Géant de la Révolution", Paris, Editions Orban, 1989
*Jacques Guilaine, "Billaud-Varenne : l'ascète de la Révolution (1756–1819)", Paris,
*Auguste Kuscinski: "Dictionnaire des conventionnels", Paris, Société de l'Histoire de la Révolution française, F. Rieder, 1916
* Robert R. Palmer, "Twelve Who Ruled : The Year of the Terror in the French Revolution", Princeton,
Princeton University Press, 1941
*Schama, Simon. Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution (New York: Vintage Books, 1989), 809, 840.
*Levitine, George. Culture and Revolution: Cultural Rammifications of the French Revolution (College Park, Maryland: Department of Art History, 1989), 70-79.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Jacques nicolas billaud-varenne — Jacques Nicolas Billaud Varenne. Portrait par Jean Baptiste Greuze (vers 1790) … Wikipédia en Français
Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne — Jacques Nicolas Billaud Varenne. Jacques Nicolas Billaud Varenne, (La Rochela, Francia, 23 de abril de 1756 Puerto Príncipe, Haití, 3 de junio de 1819) fue un revolucionario de origen francés. Fue un importante orador del club de los jacobinos y… … Wikipedia Español
Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Billaud. Jacques Nicolas Billaud, puis Billaud Varenne … Wikipédia en Français
Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne — Porträt Billaud Varennes von Jean Baptiste Greuze, um 1790 Jacques Nicolas Billaud Varenne, auch Jean Nicolas (* 23. April 1756 in La Rochelle; † 3. Juni 1819 in Port au Prince) war ein französischer Revolutionär; Haupturheber der Septembermorde… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Jean Nicolas Billaud-Varenne — Jacques Nicolas Billaud Varenne Jacques Nicolas Billaud Varenne Jacques Nicolas Billaud Varenne. Portrait par Jean Baptiste Greuze (vers 1790) … Wikipédia en Français
Jean-Nicolas Billaud-Varenne — Porträt Billaud Varennes von Jean Baptiste Greuze, um 1790 Jacques Nicolas Billaud Varenne, auch Jean Nicolas (* 23. April 1756 in La Rochelle; † 3. Juni 1819 in Port au Prince) war ein französischer Revolutionär; Hauptur … Deutsch Wikipedia
Jean Nicolas Billaud-Varenne — Porträt Billaud Varennes von Jean Baptiste Greuze, um 1790 Jacques Nicolas Billaud Varenne, auch Jean Nicolas (* 23. April 1756 in La Rochelle; † 3. Juni 1819 in Port au Prince) war ein französischer Revolutionär; Hauptur … Deutsch Wikipedia
Billaud-Varenne — Jacques Nicolas Billaud Varenne Jacques Nicolas Billaud Varenne Jacques Nicolas Billaud Varenne. Portrait par Jean Baptiste Greuze (vers 1790) … Wikipédia en Français
Billaud-Varenne, Jean-Nicolas — ▪ French lawyer born April 23, 1756, La Rochelle, France died June 3, 1819, near Port au Prince, Haiti lawyer and pamphleteer, a member of the Committee of Public Safety that ruled Revolutionary (French Revolution) France during the period of… … Universalium
Jean-Nicolas Billaud-Varennes — Porträt Billaud Varennes von Jean Baptiste Greuze, um 1790 Jacques Nicolas Billaud Varenne, auch Jean Nicolas (* 23. April 1756 in La Rochelle; † 3. Juni 1819 in Port au Prince) war ein französischer Revolutionär; Hauptur … Deutsch Wikipedia